English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Bittesby

Historical Forms

  • Bichesbie (sic) 1086 DB
  • Bittlesby 1258 Ch 1327 SR
  • Bitlesby 1315 Cl 1329,1335 Ipm 1344 Cl
  • Bittelesby 1428 FA
  • Buttelesby 1274 IpmR
  • Buttlesby 1275 Cl
  • Butlesby 1285 FA 1327 SR
  • Butlisby 1271,1274 Ipm 1277 Hastings
  • Bytlesby 1328 Banco
  • Bettelesby 1383 Ipm
  • Bettesby 1383 Cl
  • Bittesby 1507 Ipm 1515 AD 1540 MinAccts


'The farmstead or village at the stumpy hill', v. byttel , . The stump-like hill at SP 503864 rises some 500 yards north of the deserted settlement of Bittesby, at the parish boundary with Ullesthorpe. The hill- name survives in two adjacent f.ns., Bittell and Short Bittell in the Ullesthorpe Tithe Apportionments of 1843. From the TA map, these can be precisely located. The unrecorded OE sb. byttel is a diminutive of an (unrecorded) OE  butt 'a (tree-) stump, a mound', related to ON  bútr 'a log', Swed  but 'a stump' and to the ON  adj. buttr , Dan  but 'short, stocky, stumpy' and is here transferred topographically as a hill-name.Presumably because of the genitival composition-joint, Ekwall incorrectly in DEPN takes the specific to be an unrecorded OE  masc. pers.n. Byttel , similar to the recorded Byttic (Redin 151).

The earthworks at the centre of deserted medieval village of Bittesby lie at SP 500859, stretching north and south for 500 yards on both sides of a stream, but in part, the house platforms were destroyed by an embankment of the former Midland Counties Railway line. The village was depopulated in 1494 to make way for sheep pasture.